How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in West Virginia

The impending shortage of qualified specialists in the medical field makes a career diagnostic medicine an excellent option for anyone seeking to work in healthcare. The role of Ultrasound Technician is one such opportunity for medical diagnostic professional. Diagnostic medicine is essential to the assessment of a range of critical physiological conditions. Ultrasound professionals charged with the technical examination of patients will continue to be in high demand in the near future.

Ratification of the U.S. Affordable Care Act by Congress is predicted to create leveraged healthcare resources for more Americans by 2020.With the population of medically under-served patients slated to dramatically increase, the future for specialists seeking roles in diagnostic medicine is bright. In West Virginia, the Act will have certain consequences on the demand for healthcare services. By studying to become an ultrasound technician, you can improve your career outlook, and increase the chances for earning.

Students interested in training to become an ultrasound technician in West Virginia can develop the skills they need, and pass the necessary criteria required to attain licensure as a practicing diagnostic technician by enrolling in an accredited general sonography certificate or degree program. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is in oversight of accredited certificate and degree programs in general sonography.

Higher education institutions providing the training for ultrasound technicians usually offer internships and preparation for the Abdomen, Obstetrics-Gynecology and Ultrasound Physics (ARDMS) examination as part of the standard curriculum. Once an ultrasound technician is licensed, professionals can go on to work in the clinical, hospital, physician practice or public health setting.

Join the ranks of qualified specialists entering the medical field by becoming an ultrasound technician. With better than statewide average compensation rankings for similarly trained professionals, medical diagnostics offer higher compensation for the standard 1 to 2 years of certification than other fields.

Requirements for Ultrasound Technician Certification
The CAAHEP is the governing body in oversight of regulation of college, university, and vocational school accreditation of general sonography certificate and degree programs in the state of West Virginia. The Commission determines the standards to program curricula, and provides the policy guidelines for training in preparation for the ARDMS licensure exams.

Medical diagnostic technicians practicing the field have already evidenced that they are qualified for practice. Graduation from a general sonography certificate or degree program at an accredited higher education institution meets the criteria for licensure examination and clinical practice.

The time to completion of accredited general sonography certificate and degree programs varies. Certificate programs are generally 1 to 2 years to matriculation. Some states require continuing education in support of licensure requirements. Interested candidates can find out more about what it takes to become a qualified ultrasound technician by contacting the sonography training program of choice.

Career Outlook for Ultrasound Technicians in West Virginia
The employment forecast for ultrasound technicians in West Virginia is good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that technicians employed in the state earn about $54,860. While lower than other surrounding states, there is also some regional differentiation in compensation between rural and metropolitan areas. The highest earning ultrasound technicians in West Virginia make about $73,000 per year. In 2012, West Virginia employed 280 technicians. The number of opportunities are expected to increase to 400 by the year 2020, reflecting a 36.7% increase in population size, annually.

CAAHEP Accredited Ultrasound Technician Certification Programs
There are two CAAHEP accredited schools in West Virginia offering certificate, associate and bachelor degree programs in diagnostic sonography, cardiovascular ultrasound, and radiologic technology. The certificate tract is an eighteen month program. Students receive training in general sonography procedures and diagnostics, including neurosonography. Matriculation in the CAAHEP certificate program qualifies student to take the ARDMS exam to fulfill licensure requirements for practice.

School Name: Mountain State University
Address: Beckley, WV
Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Associate of Science in Radiologic Technology
Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate: Cardiovascular Ultrasound
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate: General Ultrasound
Accreditation: CAAHEP Accredited

School Name: West Virginia University Hospitals
Address: PO Box 8062, Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV – 26506
Program: Accredited Certificate Program in General Sonography
Accreditation: CAAHEP Accredited and ARRT Recognized